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October 19, 2007

Sony Cuts the Price of PS3

By Raju Shanbhag, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Time to get ready for some games this holiday season as Sony announced plans to cut the U.S. price of a PlayStation 3 model by 17 percent and also introduce a less expensive version to boost holiday sales. The company is trying hard to compete with rivals Nintendo Co. (Wii) and Microsoft (News - Alert) Corp (Xbox 360). PlayStation 3 already has the unwanted distinction of being the most expensive game console. But many fans wouldn’t complain as it features a high-definition Blu-ray movie player as well.

According to a report in Bloomberg, Sony is cutting the price of PlayStation 3 with an 80-gigabyte hard drive from $499 from $599 with immediate effect. A $399 model with 40 gigabytes of storage goes on sale Nov. 2. Billy Pidgeon, an analyst at research firm IDC (News - Alert) in Framingham, Massachusetts said in a recent interview, that without this, it wasn’t looking like there would be much action for PlayStation 3 this holiday.
Since Nintendo’s Wii and Sony’s PlayStation were introduced in last November, Wii has taken a clear lead as far as the market leadership position goes. Sales also trail Xbox 360, which got a boost this month from the release of the ``Halo 3’’ video game. Analysts feel that a lower price for PS3 would attract die-hard console fans who are looking for a high-definition DVD player. They expect Sony to sell as many as 450,000 PlayStation 3 consoles in November and almost 1 million in December. NPD Group Inc., a Port Washington, New York-based researcher, stated that consumers have purchased 6.3 million Xbox 360s, introduced a year earlier.
As if just to highlight the ability of the console t play movies, the $399 model comes with a Blu-ray DVD of “Spider-Man.” The price cuts in the United States come on the heels of the company cutting the prices of the PS3 and Japan and Europe.
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